The Handleman Company was one of the major CD distributors in the US for quite a few years. They were based in Troy, Michigan. They supplied CDs to major retailers including Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy and a few others. Handleman flourished while recorded music was still popular to buy, particularly in the 1990’s, but business started to fail after the introduction of Napster and the popularization of file sharing.
In June 2008 The Handleman company announced it would be exiting the music industry. I worked there between January of 2005 until September 2008, when the doors were about to shut for good. I was one of the last people there. This set is a collection of photos I took showing the empty building, and what is left of this leg of the music industry. Since I am interested in the music industry, it was somewhat fascinating watching all of this take place firsthand.
In a previous career, I visited Handleman once in a while to repair or upgrade the creatives’ computers. I always enjoyed seeing the memorabilia in the hallways. Thanks for taking me back for a minute, and I hope you grabbed that Handleman tape gun on the way out.
It’s crazy that I have access to So. Much. MUSIC now, in the shower, in the car, at my desk at work. I have “the collection” that twenty-years-ago-me dreamed of! And I still end up listening to… a lot of the stuff he listened to.
Curiously, I did keep a few rolls of that Handleman tape, but I’m not sure I still have it. I also bought a few of the gold records they had hanging on the walls, that they sold off to employees at the end. I am fairly certain I no longer have them, I think they got lost in an interstate move.
🤣 And yeah, my Spotify is a mess. I keep playlists of all the albums I love and between old stuff and new releases… it’s cumbersome.
I worked for Handlemsn as a sales representative in the early 2000s in Atlanta area. I visited corporate for training and sales meetings. This was the best job and most fun job that I have ever had!! It saddens ne to see Handleman close up and exit music. It doesn’t surprise me though given how the music retail has changed. Everything is streaming and online. Apps like Spotify make music so easy to obtain.
I used to work for several record labels and sold to the Atlanta branch. A gent named Craig Detwieler. Branch manager was named Gene. Can’t remember his last name.